So here you are. You have a fancy new website (or maybe an old one) and you’re ready for the leads to come pouring in. You’ve heard people talking about Inbound marketing, digital marketing, online marketing and maybe you’ve even dipped your toes in the water of social media advertising. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of moving pieces in today’s marketing engine. Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t need to completely understand how all the little parts work, as long as it gets me where I want to go.”
Well, the problem comes when it doesn’t get you where you want to go. It takes time to understand how all these pieces come together, but if there is one key aspect that I would suggest to understand first; it would be landing pages. If marketing is an engine, landing pages are the pistons. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be focusing on Lead Generating Landing Pages.
What Is a Landing Page?
Simply put, a landing page is any page that a user lands on after clicking on a call-to-action. More specifically, a landing page is:
- a dedicated page that is created specifically for your promotion
- a stand alone page, which means it is not a part of your site’s global navigation (This means it can not, and should not, be accessible by any other means than clicking through a call-to-action)
- a page designed to capture leads that enable you (the marketer) to market to them in the future.
“But hey, if we want to get a LOT of leads, why do we make the landing page difficult to get to? Wouldn’t it make more sense to let everyone see it?”
That is a valid question, and it does seem to stand to reason. However, think about this. Not EVERY visitor to your site will (or should) become a customer. By gating your landing page behind a call-to-action you are effectively narrowing these visitors down to only those visitors that are showing increased interest in what you are offering.
Why waste valuable time and effort marketing to website visitors who will never become customers? This is the power of the landing page.
What Does a Landing Page Look Like?
Greater minds than mine have long debated the “essence” of the landing page. How much text should be included? What percent of the page should be visual? In the end, the visual style of the landing page can be argued. However there are a few key ingredients that “lead” to better performing landing pages.
- Be clear. Tell the visitor exactly what they need to do. Make it abundantly clear what is expected of them and what they will receive in return.
- Be concise. The visitor has already said “yes” by clicking your call-to-action. Don’t bore them and drone on and on and on and on and on… just tell them what to do, how to do it and what they get for doing it (whatever “it” is).
- Stay on point. All other navigation has been removed from the landing page giving your visitor only one action to take, and when we say ONE, we mean ONE. Don’t cram multiple offers into a single landing page. This only confuses the visitor and mucks up your reporting later.
- Stay consistent. Your landing page should match your call-to-action. If a visitor clicks on a call-to-action they should immediately know that they made a “good click” when they see your landing page. Here is an example.
Obviously, this is an oversimplification, but hopefully you get the point. Images and text styles should also stay consistent, letting the visitor know they are in the right place.
When and HOW Should a Landing Page Be Used?
Landing pages can be used for ANY marketing campaign. Any time you want to collect valuable personal information (i.e., name, email, telephone number, etc.) from your future customers, a landing page should be used. However, before we get out of control, let’s not forget that age old rule; ain’t nothin’ free in this world.
Yes, you’ll need to give something in return for this priceless information. In order to convert to a lead, a visitor needs to get something out of it. So what does that entail? Honestly, the sky is the limit. Anything that you think your future customers would find attractive and valuable should be considered. Here is a list of common landing page handouts.
- white papers
- reports (deeply researched and not readily available)
- Newsletters (again, make sure you’re offering info not readily available to make it more enticing)
- VIP rewards (a great tool for people signing up for a convention or webinar)
- Free consultations
As you can see, depending on your particular company and target audience, the payoff can be quite different. Be sure what you’re offering in your call-to-action and on your landing page is congruent and makes sense to your market.